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India Women Set to Face South Africa Women in One-Off Test at Chennai’s MA Chidambaram Stadium

India Women and South Africa Women are all set to clash in a highly anticipated one-off Test match at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai starting Friday, June 28. Following their commanding 3-0 victory over South Africa in the ODI series held in Bengaluru, the Indian team is brimming with confidence. Under the captaincy of Harmanpreet Kaur, the Women in Blue now aim to replicate their success in the longer format of the game.

In the recent ODI series, the Indian team showcased dominant performances, outclassing the Proteas in every department. The Indian batting lineup, led by star players such as Smriti Mandhana, Shafali Verma, and Jemimah Rodrigues, has hit peak form, delivering consistently high scores. Meanwhile, the bowlers, spearheaded by the likes of Deepti Sharma and Rajeshwari Gayakwad, have shown their prowess, stifling the South African batters. This comprehensive display of skill and strategy makes India the clear favorites as they head into the Test match.

The head-to-head record in Test cricket between these two sides tilts in favor of India. In their two previous Test encounters, India emerged victorious on both occasions. However, it is worth noting that their last meeting in this format dates back to November 2014. This adds an element of unpredictability to the upcoming match, as both teams have evolved significantly over the years. South Africa will be keen to secure their maiden Test win against India and will approach this game with a sense of determination and resilience.

Playing conditions at the MA Chidambaram Stadium, commonly known as Chepauk, are expected to be challenging. The venue is renowned for its spin-friendly surface, especially in red-ball cricket. Historically, spinners have dominated proceedings at Chepauk, and fans can anticipate similar conditions in the upcoming Test. The pitch is likely to offer significant turn from Day 2, making it a paradise for spinners and a true test for batters.

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. The average first innings score of 340 at this venue indicates that runs can be scored, but batsmen must be prepared to negotiate the spin threat.

A statistical look at Chepauk shows that out of the 35 Test matches played here, teams batting first have won 12 times, while those bowling first have clinched victory on 10 occasions. The remaining matches have ended in draws. These figures suggest that batting first could provide a strategic advantage, allowing teams to set a formidable target before the pitch starts to deteriorate. Moreover, the highest total ever scored at this venue is 759/7 by India against England, while the lowest score, recorded by the same teams, is 83/10.

The Indian team is expected to field a strong playing XI, with an emphasis on a balanced combination of experienced players and promising young talents. The predicted lineup includes Shafali Verma, who has impressed with her aggressive batting style, alongside the reliable Smriti Mandhana at the top of the order. Skipper Harmanpreet Kaur will lead the middle order, supported by the likes of Jemimah Rodrigues and Deepti Sharma, who can contribute with both bat and ball. Richa Ghosh is the likely choice for wicketkeeper, while Sneh Rana, Pooja Vastrakar, Rajeshwari Gayakwad, and Renuka Singh will add depth to the bowling department.

On the other hand, South Africa, led by Laura Wolvaardt, will look to regroup and rectify the issues that plagued them in the ODI series. Their predicted playing XI features a mix of seasoned campaigners and emerging talents. The lineup could include names such as Anneke Bosch, Marizanne Kapp, the versatile Sune Luus, Tazmin Brits, Delmi Tucker, and Nadine de Klerk. Wicketkeeping duties are likely to be handled by Sinalo Jafta, while the bowling attack may feature Nonkululeko Mlaba, Masabata Klaas, and Tumi Sekhukhune.

As cricket enthusiasts await the start of this historic contest, the spotlight will firmly be on how both teams adapt to the challenging conditions at Chepauk. With India riding high on momentum and confidence, and South Africa eager to make a statement, the one-off Test promises to be a gripping encounter, showcasing the very best of women’s cricket.